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topic 8090

Sand Burning


An article in a recent copy of Reader's Digest referred to a table which had been made in Boston 200 years ago where a treatment called "sand burning" had been used to finish the top. Can anyone explain how "sand burning" works and why it is/was used?

Thanks in advance! Mat Hassen
- Burnaby, B.C. Canada


A bowl of sand is placed over a burner/hotplate. As far as I know this is done with veneer only. The veneer is placed in the hot sand to scorch it until it's "done" kind of like toast. It gives a different look to the wood and can also be used to shade it for a form of Marquetry (making pictures or patterns from the assembly of veneer either stained or naturally a different color/species). I forgot the name for this technique. A similar form is to use a tool like a soldering iron and burn the wood to develop shading and other features. Duck decoys can be made this way. The hot sand allows the control needed to get the result wanted

David Domm
- Rochester, New York

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